Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What I'm Watching #85

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
I remember when "The Motorcycle Diaries" first hit the theaters and how all of the buzz was about the choice to make this film in Spanish. Would it be commercially viable in the United States? And I'm so glad that the creators and backers of this amazing story didn't give that question a second thought.

However, what sort of surprises me is that the content and subject of the film didn't cause even a ripple of controversy. Oh, the power of ubiquitous posters and T-shirts to reduce a person's legacy from subversive to impotent, eh?

It's, after all, the tale of the awakening of one of the most significant and iconoclastic revolutionaries of the 20th century -- Ernesto "Che" Guevara. And it's told in a way that does nothing but glorify the young man from Buenos Aires who was born to privilege in 1928, who had nearly completed medical school just pryor to this adventure, and who eventually was assassinated by the CIA in 1967 after leading the Cuban revolution at the side of Fidel Castro. An amazing, improbable life.

Politics aside, the film clearly portrays the birth of a selfless soul, and left me wishing I could have known this man. No doubt had he lived, Nelson Mandela might today have a soulmate with whom to discuss the virtues of idealism in the service of the disenfranchized.

The film itself is another tour de force for director Walter Salles. Not as completely powerful for me as his epic "Central Station," but profound in other ways. The leads are wonderful. And Gael Garcia Bernal establishes himself with this role as the preeminent Latin actor in the world today. His presence on screen can rival any actor, and his sincere beauty of soul and body draw you into his character as if you were it's skin. You move as he moves, you know what he knows, and you feel what he feels.

Get out the kleenex! What's new?

You must see this one, really.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Answer? -- A Poem

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Whoever said that sex didn't make the world go round, was so far from the question that the answer couldn't even have bit them on the ass!

This image, for some odd reason, reminded me of a poem that I wrote years ago. And as I have warned you in the past, I'm not a very good poet....


have you ever noticed
how the handsome people—
I mean the truly beautiful people—
can get away with wearing
whatever they want?

Like the gorgeous man I passed today,
who was walking along the creek
dressed in faded grey sweat pants;
his muscle-bound thighs straining
against the thinning fabric,
with black dress socks and black penny loafers
and a rumpled red plaid flannel shirt
left unbottoned to reveal the center of his chest
down to his tanned hairless sternum.

His capless head of wavy black hair
and smooth high-cheeked face,
could have rivaled J. Singer Sargent's Dr. Pozzi,
framed against the sun dappled foliage
of the park, like some magnificent
animate water-color sketch
glazed with early morning dew.

God, if I dressed like that
I'd look like some refugee
having only recently escaped the sudden
confligration of my humble condo,
or dazed yet miraculously spared
from the tornado's unexpected fury.

But never the pretty people.
They are forever fashionably late
to some A-list brunch or an
on location photo-shoot
for the cover GQ or Vanity Fair.

I wonder what ever happened
to my pair of penny loafers?

~ (28 MAY 99)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Summer Gardens 01

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
Don't know what you did for the Memorial Day Weekend Holiday. I continued the process of replanting my gardens for summer. This image is a bed off of the deck in the backyard. The planter has some more exotic plants, the names of which I do not remember (that's the role of the planters!) The bed is filled with impatiens and petunias in various shades of purple, lavendar, with pink and white accents.

I enjoy gardening. I don't have nearly enough time (or sense of obsession) to maintain the beds like I would want them to be in a perfect world, but I do well. And while spring is about pansies and native perennials, summer divides the beds, with half going to annuals.

Last summer, the deer ate most of them! So I am focusing on petunias this year in the hopes of discovering a species that is NOT to their culinary liking. It's certainly a flower with aroma! The sticky sweet smell is everywhere in the back yard, for sure. Fortunately it doesn't bother me, some odors do. And since I've planted approximately, 350 pentunias, 150 impatiens, 75 salvia, and 40 each of marigolds, begonias, and dianthus; all along with another 60 + specialty or more exotic hybrids of plants like fuschia, lobelia, geraniums, and various choleas to name but a few--that's probably a very good thing!

Okay, it really is an obsession.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Random Quote #70

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. "

~ Maya Angelou, 1928

A Personal Plea

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
I urge everyone who reads this to go to:

And learn about the new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial that is being built in Washington, D.C. Our nation has never needed visionary leaders more than today. The words of this amazing man must be preserved and allowed to inspire future leaders who's dream and aspirations for our nation are not limited by self-interest, greed, and classism.

Further, I hope you will join me and become a contributor to the cause. Every dime counts!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

What I'm Watching #84

Originally uploaded by Randuwa
"You I Love: the heart wants what it wants" is actually an autobiographical tale of a menage รก trois involving a television personality, an ad executive and a caretaker from Moscow's Zoo. Or that's how the films writer/producer Olga Stolpovskaya describes it.

It's a classic tale actually, Boy meets girl, boy hits boy with his car, boy falls for boy, too! Boy goes through much angst and nearly freezes to death, but eventually gets to keep both boy and girl. Well, okay, not exactly classic, but at least well told. Charming even, and with a sprinkling of cimematographical tricks, and humor, it's a far cry from other more methodical, stoic, Russian films that I've seen.

My only complaint: the cover of the DVD, it makes the two male leads look like high school juniors, and they are not--they are handsome men (Damir Badmaev and Lubov Tolkalina, to be precise).

A very nice film, worth the effort to see.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Strange Appreciation ~ A Fabulous Life~!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Recognize this Icon of Tele-Evangelism's hay day? Sure you do. It's Tammy Faye LeValley-Bakker-Messner. One time Queen of the now defunct Heritage U.S.A. There was a day when I thought that she was just an evil lady, but I have grown to see her as much more: more innocent ergo pathetic....and, in a strange way, sweet. That's what pity can do to one's perspective.

And for those living on Mars, she's dying. She has battled cancer for years and now it looks like the winner will be the Big "C".

In her post Heritage U.S.A. days she became a darling of the gay male community--rarely do we discover living kitch! And Tammy is blessedly that in spades!

If I could speak to her directly, I would "wish you well dear-heart. I hope that your passing is gentle and peaceful. What greater gift can life provide any of us?" Substitute "God" for "life" if you prefer. An article follows:

"Tammy Faye Cancer Treatments Halted"

NEW YORK - Tammy Faye Bakker, the disgraced televangelist whose reputations was rehabilitated through a documentary and reality show, has penned a goodbye letter to her fans in which she says doctors have stopped treating her cancer.

"The doctors have stopped trying to treat the cancer and so now it's up to God and my faith. And that's enough! But please continue to pray for the pain and sick stomach," Tammy Faye wrote in a letter to her "faithful friends" on her Web site.

"My precious daughter, Tammy Sue, and her wonderful friends are staying with me," Tammy Faye wrote. "They don't want me falling down the stairs. I am down weight wise to 65 pounds, and look like a scarecrow. I need God's miracle to swallow."

In 1996 Tammy Faye was diagnosed with colon cancer. In 2004 she learned the cancer had returned, this time in her lungs.

Tammy Faye and her husband, Jim, were household names in the United States, with a television evangelical empire that brought in close to an estimated $130 million annually at its height in the 1980s and reached 13 million homes daily.

Tammy Faye's face was one of the most recognized on American television, the mascara running riot as she tearfully beseeched viewers to open their hearts to Jesus -- and their wallets to the Bakkers' causes.

It all came crashing down amid sex and financial scandals that landed Jim in prison for five years. Tammy Faye divorced Jim and married his best friend.

In 2000, a critically acclaimed documentary about her life, "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," was released and did much to rehabilitate her image. Then in 2004 Tammy Faye appeared on the cult reality show "The Surreal Life," where she lived in a house alongside such other "celebrities" as porn star Ron Jeremy and rapper Vanilla Ice, winning over the audience and fellow cast mates with her warmth and humor.

Fun Beard

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I ran across this image this evening and "wow". I really like it. It's given me an idea for a summer project!

Cramping Their Style

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
These images are from a BCI publicity campaign. The text reads: "Bci Fondos Mutuos has over 65 years of experience in products specially thoughts for each one of your needs of investment. So we don't just make grow your money... but also your trust and security." Perhaps Bci, could employ a translator as clever as their conceptual/graphic artist?

Our Latest American Hero #85

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died May 18 in Tahrir, Iraq, of wounds suffered when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using an improvised explosive device. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
Killed were:
Army Sgt. Anselmo Martinez III, 26, of Robstown, Texas.
Army Spc. Casey W. Nash, 22, of Baltimore [Essex].
Army Spc. Joshua G. Romero, 19, of Crowley, Texas.

"Explosion Kills Essex Man In Iraq"

Several weeks ago, Army Spc. Casey W. Nash came home on leave from Iraq to visit his family in Essex and Middle River.

He watched sports with his father, worked on his sister's car and drove his beloved red-and-white Chevrolet S-10 Xtreme pickup truck. A quiet man, the 22-year-old said little about his time in the combat zone, but he did make this point: Six months into his second tour of duty in Iraq, he was ready to leave the Army and return home for good.

That visit was the last time his family saw him.

On Friday, Specialist Nash and two other soldiers were killed in Tahir, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device. The others were Sgt. Anselmo Martinez III, 26, of Robstown, Texas, and Spc. Joshua G. Romero, 19, of Crowley, Texas.

"He just didn't want to be there anymore," his father, Lewis Nash, said yesterday, tears welling in his eyes.

Specialist Nash enlisted in the Army in February 2003, less than a year after graduating from Eastern Technical High School, where he played football.

A fire support specialist, his duties included mapping coordinates and driving a Humvee, his father said. In October 2005, Specialist Nash was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division in Fort Hood, Texas, according to an Army spokesman.

In October, Specialist Nash was sent to Iraq for the second time after an earlier 15-month deployment. According to relatives, he had originally signed up for four years with the Army, but the term of his enlistment was extended. The time spans of both of his tours in Iraq also were lengthened, they said.

He told his family that he felt that he was being pressured to re-enlist.

"They pushed him and pushed him, and he kept telling them no," his father said.

Born in Pasadena, Texas, Casey Nash moved to Middle River with his family when he was a boy and settled in the same small white house where his father had been raised. As a child, he shot baskets through the weatherbeaten hoop that still stands in front of that home.

Family connections run deep in the neighborhood. Cousins live across the street, and Nash attended Victory Villa Elementary, Middle River Middle, and Eastern Technical, as his father had done.

A talented athlete, he was coached by his father in Little League baseball. In high school, he played center and guard on the varsity football team. Nash's football coach, Marc Mesaros, choked back tears yesterday as he recalled the offensive lineman for his quiet leadership on the varsity team, brutal honesty and "get-it-done" attitude.

"He was a John Wayne kind of kid," said Mr. Mesaros, adding that he exchanged e-mails with Specialist Nash during his first tour in Iraq.

Mr. Mesaros, who teaches computer graphics and Web design, described Specialist Nash's senior year - when he was injured in one of the team's first scrimmages - as an illustration of his work ethic.

"He overcame a devastating ankle injury, and after missing most of the season, he finished the year with a strong performance in our final game," Mr. Mesaros said. Though injured, Nash kept showing up for practice to support his teammates.

While he was in high school, Casey Nash moved with his mother, Sandra Nash, and sister, Sara Nash, to a home in Essex. Yesterday, his pickup and yellow motorcycle were parked in front of that house. A yellow ribbon was tied to the tree.

An uncle, Tony Edge, said that Specialist Nash's mother was too upset to comment. Yesterday was her birthday, he added.

Relatives said that they were surprised when Nash announced that he was joining the military and offered little explanation for his choice.

He sent back photos from Iraq of giant spiders that he had caught in a jar and a tipped Humvee from which he had escaped. He told his father that he once pulled a buddy out a burning Jeep.

During his most recent visit, Specialist Nash stayed in his basement bedroom in his mother's home that he had outfitted with a stereo, refrigerator and video game console.

He played pool with his father and another uncle, Fred Nash, and hung out with his girlfriend, whom he had dated since high school.

A photo from the visit shows Specialist Nash, a tall man with a solid build, light blue eyes and blond hair, smiling next to his girlfriend.

While he was visiting, he was shaken when he found out that some buddies in Iraq had been killed.

"He was upset because he felt like he had let them down," his father said.

He had told his father that he was frustrated that his military service had been extended. He had hoped to pursue a career with computers after leaving the Army or join the ironworks company where his father is a supervisor.

Lewis Nash, 46, said that the military has provided little specific information about how his son died, whether the casket could be open or closed for the funeral, or even when his body would arrive.

Specialist Nash had been slated for a promotion to sergeant, but the paperwork had been held up. Yesterday, military representatives told his family that the promotion had been approved, his father said.

Plans for a memorial service are pending.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What I'm Watching #83

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I have not seen a sweeter or a funnier film in a long time!

You'll love this one, trust me.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Our Latest American Hero #84

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I'm jumping the gun over the DoD on this one. They've yet to officially release an announcement on the death of Army Pfc Joshua Romero, 19, of Crowly, Texas. Unofficially, Joshua is the 77th US soldier to die in the war in May 2007...

"Fort Worth Soldier Killed In Iraq"

FORT WORTH -- Joshua Romero’s father is proud of his son’s 2005 graduation picture from Crowley High School.

Most of the time, the younger Romero shied away from the camera’s lens, but this photo was a favor for his father. It’s also the very photo Joe Romero pulled out Saturday to help remember his son -- a 1st Calvary Division soldier from Fort Worth who died in Iraq.

Pfc. Joshua Romero, 19, served in B Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Calvary. The U.S. Army informed his wife and father about his death on Friday, the family said. He would have turned 20 next month.

“He made me proud,” said Joe Romero. “I want people to know what he did.”

The family is trying to piece together how he died. Preliminary reports indicate he was a victim of a roadside bomb while riding in a Bradley tank, the said. He had been stationed out of Fort Hood.

The last time the family saw Joshua was in April, when he was granted leave to attend a family funeral.

“Josh was brave to go out there,” said a younger brother, Anthony Romero, 6.

Joshua Romero enlisted in 2005 shortly after graduating from Crowley High School. He told his father the military would help open doors for his future. Plus, he liked the structure.

“He joined the military because we don’t have a lot of money,” said Joe Romero. “College was out of our reach.”

When Joe Romero learned his son wanted to join the military, he sat him down and told him: “This is not fun and games. You might not come back.”

But Joshua had made up his mind and given his word. He never second guessed his decision to join the military and if he was afraid or scared, he never showed it.

“I was more afraid,” Joe Romero said. “I’ve always known there was a chance. You hear about soldiers getting killed everyday.”

On Friday, the family was shocked to learn that Joshua was now a casualty of the War in Iraq. Joe Romero allowed himself to be interviewed by the Star-Telegram because he wanted his son remembered in printed words.

Joshua Romero was a typical All American youth. He liked Rock music, including Jimi Hendrix. He was quiet and low-key, but he made time to hang with his pals. He was also close to eight siblings from his blended family.

Joe Romero said Joshua left behind a wife, Michelle, and a 1-year-old son, Joshua David. His survivors also include his step-mother, Shellie Romero, and his biological mother, Kimberlee Cummings.

Joshua Romero attended Worth Heights Elementary, Rosemont Middle School and Trimble Tech High School before graduating from Crowley High School. He tried playing football while at Rosemont, but discovered he’s a better fan than a player, said his father.

“He loved football. He liked to watch basketball,” said Joe Romero, adding after a pause: “That’s Joshua in a nutshell.”

Sunday Funnies #6

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Lions, and Tigers, and Gas Pumps! Oh MY!

Sunday Funnies #5

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Friday, May 18, 2007

What I'm Watching #82

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Another Spanish comedy with a gay love theme. It's quirky, at times sentimental, and the plot has holes big enough to drive a ..... semi through! The sex is sort of hot and explicit, there could be more of it! -- but God bless the Spanish, they aren't afraid of full frontal male nudity. Or guys screwing!~

Never-the-less, 2 stars.

Global Warming!?

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Farewell, Falwell -- Good Riddence!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
America's Best Christian, Betty has a few parting words for Jerry. Here's an exerpt: Enjoy the rest of it at:

Betty's "deep thoughts" ~

"Dear Bereft Brothers and Sisters in Mourning:

Verily, I am crying as I type. You can imagine my shock in hearing that Reverend Jerry Falwell had been found dead, lying in a pool of his own gravy. First Anna Nicole, now Jerry. Frankly, the Lord seems to be on a fat, attention-whore killing spree! I’d stay indoors if I were Rosie O’Donnell. Well, on second thought, if I looked like Rosie O'Donnell, I'd be running through the streets screaming, "Here I am Lord! Come and get me!"

Gossipy paramedics told me that Jerry died of a faulty heart. Frankly, my only surprise was that he had one at all. Nevertheless, his yammering mug finally being silenced because he had a failed heart seems marvelously fitting. After all, while he was alive, this obscenely wealthy miser's heart seemed to fail him at even the most mundane opportunities. Jerry never gave anything to anyone other than an interview. Indeed, so parsimonious was this vain, oily swindler, in the aftermath of our nation's great tragedy on September 11, 2001, the only thing Jerry thought to give those who grieved was blame."

I first met Jerry when he swooped down on Heritage USA to pick Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's bones clean of any easily-liquidated assets and studio equipment. They weren't the first people to be trampled when Jerry smelled money -- or bacon. As I told Tammy at the time, it's downright suicidal to stand between Jerry and a working television camera. After all, Jerry was most TV talk shows' go-to guy when they needed the snaggletooth-hillbilly point of view, a notoriously un-telegenic demographic."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Man, I love the Maori/Polynesian tattoos. They are bold and simple and simply amazing.

And nearly edible!

Monday, May 14, 2007

What I'm Listening To #'s 27 & 28

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
You know how much I love music. It’s a harmonic thing involving my soul and the universe. And so I’m always looking for something new -- and new means that I haven’t heard it before, as opposed to recent!

Here are my latest discoveries.

On the left MEET:


You can access his MySpace site @:

What’s not to love about a sexy, talented young man who claims the following for his inspiration -- "chet baker, ella fitzgerald, brian mcknight, frank sinatra, earth wind & fire, babyface, d'angelo?" He amalgamates and channels each well and with enthusiasm.

On the right MEET:


An Australian singer with a couple of years of experience. He only just came out as gay. Here are the lyrics from the beginning of his 2005 single, “So Beautiful”:

"Whether I’m right or wrong, there’s no phrase that hits;
like an ocean needs the sand, or a dirty old shoe that fits.

"And if all the world was perfect I would only ever want to see your scars.
You know they can have their universe, we’ll be in the dirt designing stars.

"Darling, you know that you make me feel so beautiful...
No where else in the world I want to be --
you make me feel so beautiful..."

You can see more of him and his work at his MySpace page:

An older guy thought: as the late great Maude Flanders was famous for crying, “Won’t someone think of the children?!” These boychicks are our children, so check them out and if you like what you hear support their music.

Our Latest American Hero #83

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Army Pfc. Larry I. Guyton, 22, of Brenham, Texas; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died May 5 in Balad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations May 4 in Baghdad.

[Usually I post an article from a local paper with the DoD announcement. This time I’m posting memorials from a wonderful site called “” The sight allows people to send messages to the families of the dead, and in this case, to the soldier himself. I found these very moving.]

May 13, 2007

Staff Sergent Larry I. Guyton

This is mom letting you know that you are loved very much. Words can not explain how my heart hurts to know that I will never hear from you or see you. But I know that you are in a better place and you are watching out for us. I'm at peace with you passing on because I could not bear to see you suffer. I hope in your last hours that you knew that I loved you and I'm very proud of you. I couldn't have asked God for a better son.
Loved mommy
A. M. (Brenham, TX)

May 12, 2007

Lil Larry this is your Aunt K., I love you and truly miss you. My heart is heavy and my checks stained with tears, but I know that you are truly in Heaven. You were an angel here on Earth, now you are with Jesus helping to keep all your love ones safe. What you did in Iraq was protect those we thought need our protection. Now you are really helping to protect the whole world. The times we spent together will always be in my memories, you were always a bright light, and full of laughter. When I think of all the good times it makes me laugh and smile. Ke. misses you also. She is young but her words have given me more comfort than any one at this time. She said to me last weekend Mama I did not want Lil Larry to die, but now he will never have to suffer, and he is in a better place, with God and my papa. I pray and ask God every day to give us all the strength to make it through and I know it will only be by the grace of God that we will get through this time. Family I want you all to remember the person that Larry was, he was good, kind, loving, and always had a smile for everyone. Now is the time for all to think about how we can live by his example. To Big Larry and L. I know that this is a great loss, but I just want you both to know that you gave us a great gift, and Thank you.

Love K. G. (Giddings, TX)

May 11, 2007

Words could never replace the sorrow or grief in times like this. I watched little Larry grow up with my son EJ and they were close friends and class mates. As I spoke with my son on yesterday, he is still devistated over Larry's death and he realize they have suffered a great loss in such a wonderful person, as many have stated. I realize that life is so uncertain, and my heart hurts for each of you. I only know, "What Prayer Can Do". We will continue to pray for the family and we encourage all to continue to look to God, and hold on to his unchanging hands.

Be blessed,
E. L. Sr. (Chappell Hill, TX)

Ode to the Pansy

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
My favoritest flower! Hardy enough to withstand a winter which, though more often than not mild, had its share of harrowing windy nights with wind chills in the single digits. But nary a complaint from these little Lions of the garden. And always such butterfly beauty: the colors, the patterns, the playful way they wobble in the May breeze.

I am in the midst of reaping a pansy harvest as I transform my beds into summer annuals; (mostly salvia, begonias, petunias, zinnias and marigolds this year.) And while the lionshare is fodder headed for the compost heap, I couldn't help myself from pressing at least some of the hundreds and hundreds of blooms. And, of course, share a few with you.

Groovey, Baby!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Click on the image to get a larger image and enjoy the optical illusion!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Global Trade Redux

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I was folding my laundry this evening when I noticed that the shirt that I had recently purchased was made in Cambodia. Cambodia! -- "the killing fields"?

Now, I'm an average middle class guy. I don't live extravagantly, and I shop for my clothes at Target and Kohl's. So I thought: "Do I wear anything made by my fellow citizens in the United States? And apparently, I DON'T! I couldn't find one single label marked "Made in the U.S.A."

This montage of my clothes was made in [left to right and top to bottom]: GUATEMALA, the PHILIPPINES, EGYPT, CHINA, CAMBODIA, BANGLADESH, INDIA, TURKEY, and PAKISTAN. I also found THAILAND, BRAZIL, HONDURAS, MEXICO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, KOREA [SOUTH], and CHILE.... My clothes have been more places than me!

But NONE of them were created in the United States.... Have we entered into a new and global form of SLAVERY? I'm just asking....

Angels #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
For he puts you under his angels' charge,
to guard you wherever you go,
to lift you in their hands
lest you trip over a stone;
You can walk over reptiles and cobras,
trampling on lions and on dragons.

~ Psalm 91 and verses 11 thru 13

Sunday Funnies #4

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Just when you'd have thought we've been subjected to every inane and capricious non-holiday in the world, enter "Wear Your Girlfriend's Undies To Work Day!"

The Last Supper

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
"When evening came, he lay a table with the disciples, and as they were eating he said, "One of you is going to betray me." They were greatly distress at this, and each of them said to him, "Lord, surely it is not me."

The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26 and verses 20 thru 22.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Art I'm Seeing #19

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Went to the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore today. The show is entitled, "Home & Beast," and deals with issues of our homes and the beasts within and without.

I LOVE this museum. It's an amazing place full of amazing ideas...

Yet, this show disappointed. It did not measure up to either their conceptual standards or their presentation norms. It's a sad day when such an incredible museum settles for mediocrity and shoddy presentations.....

Friday, May 11, 2007

Blast From The Past #2

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Okay, I confess! I'm a "Noah's Arc" SLUT!

What can I say? When Wilson Cruz showed up in the 7th episode, I was sunk. He stole my heart back on "My So Called Life" as Rickie Vasquez. Just a kid then, he's grown up very well!

Guess this mean I'll be buying the second season, too.....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rush To Judgment

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Okay, I've watched the rest of the first 5 episodes of season one and my initial characterization of this series was, I confess, limited. I feel trapped by it now. Characters that are filling out, and ideas that sincerely deserve the light of day.

And the flower petals showering down on Noah and Wade at the end of "Nothin' Goin on but the Rent"~! And I'm just another puddle in the pool of hopeless romantics....

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Casualty Rates in 4 States

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
This is a follow-up of sorts to my recent previous post on Casualty Rates. Here are 4 graphs representing 4 states (MD, KY, NM, AR) from 03 to 07. All are slated to exceed there highest annual totals based on the daily rate of casualties. Some by a large margine, others by a narrow one.

Each of the bars are based on actual casualties and can be compared across the graph.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What I'm Watching #81

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Okay, I've already established the fact that I'm gay, right? And in recent years, I've grown into a new appreciation for the concept of "Jungle Fever," however crude and PC incorrect--not to mention racist--that it is. Ergo, BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL, and sexy, and sweet, and somehow very, very nice!

Enter "Noah's Arc" on the Logos channel. It's the story of gay black men living in friendship and having sex in southern California. Great premise, right? And basically it's a nice show. It's also cut out of the self-same mold as "90210" and "Bay Watch" -- so toddlers need not fear drowning!

Eye candy a plenty. Serious issues.....hmmm, NOT! At least not in the first episode.... If things change, I might step back into this little jungle with another post. Cheers!

Expect More Casualties

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Or so says the White House today. Is that because for the first time in the history of this insane war they have finally anticipated SOMETHING?! OR is it a response to the facts? Either one is clearly a paradigm shift...if not tectonic, in it's shock and awe candor! Did you feel the ground move?

Here is a map that depicts the present rate of military casualties in the war on terror since the beginning of the year. There have been, by my best count, 466 casualties in the first 127 days of this year, or 3.6 per day. Factor that out and we are looking at a total casualty number for 2007 of around 1340! By far the deadliest year of this war with no end in sight for our soldiers.

The key to the map: gray states have experienced no casualties in 2007, yellow states have experienced casualties, but not at a rate that would exceed the total in 2006, salmon states have seen casualty rates that will exceed 2006, orange states have seen a rate that will exceed the highest year of casualties since 2003, and black states have ALREADY met or exceeded 2006's casualty total. In simplest terms: gray = good, yellow = bad, salmon, orange, and black = VERY BAD.

The inset box contains the U.S. territories of F. S. Micronesia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U. S. Virgin Islands, and Marianas Islands Protectorate (the District of Columbia is already included in the main map of the U.S.).

Here's another way to think about this. Let's add up the 50 states, DC, and the 6 territories and look at where things stand.

6 of 57 have ALREADY met or exceeded 2006's casualty total.

25 of 57 are headed to exceed the highest year of casualties since 2003.

10 of 57 are headed to exceed last year's casualty totals.

9 of 57 have experienced casualties, but not at a rate that would exceed the total in 2006.

5 of 57 have experienced no casualties in 2007.

So in this nation and her colonies; 9% of the territories are having a good year, 16% are having an average year, and 75% are have a BAD year in this War on Terrorism. Amazingly close to the President's approval ratings (28%) and with the margin of error..... hmmm.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What I'm Watching #80

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
"Head On" is not something that should be directly applied to the forehead! It's a wonderful film from Australia.

It's the story of a Greek immigrant to the "land down under," who must come to terms with his homosexuality, his famly, his order to become himslelf. It's a universal theme. It's a rite of passage that we all have traversed.

Well produced at every level, and intense--you'll not be disappointed by any of the production values, even if the message is not your cup of tea.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Prayers Please

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I am listening to her CD "Stones in the Road" and thinking about seeing Mary Chapin Carpenter again at Wolf Trap. So I go online to purchase tickets only to discovery that her performance has been cancelled. And then I found this!

"Summer Tour Cancelled"

[April 30, 2007, Charlottesville, VA.: On Friday, April 27, 2007, Rounder Records recording artist Mary Chapin Carpenter officially canceled her summer tour. She recently finished the Spring 2007 leg of The Calling tour during which time she experienced pain from a recent back injury. She was subsequently hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism, possibly as a result of her limited movement during the spring tour.

Having been released on April 27 from Martha Jefferson Hospital, Carpenter is well on her way to recovery. She hopes to resume touring sometime in 2008. No further information is available at this time.]

Best wishes and prayers Mary. You're a gift to this generation. Heal well and with amazing grace.....

Good, Lord!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Now his betrayer had given them a signal; he said, "Whoever I kiss, that is the man, seize him."

The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26 and verse 47.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Random Quote #69

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

~ Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964

Family Artifact #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I have this feathercraft image of a Quetzal bird made of feathers and perched on a painted branch with stippled foliage and flowers. It's in a hand carved frame. My parents bought it while on a western trip back in the early 1950's. My father had been home from World War II for nearly a decade and he and my mother decided to take his parents, who lived in Flintstone, Maryland on a road trip west to visit her parents, who lived in Hobart, Oklahoma. (They met during the war when my father was in basic training in Hays, Kansas. My mother was in beautician school and she and her girlfriends would drive up from Woodward, Oklahoma to the base to "dance" with the soldiers on Saturday nights.)

The trip took a couple of days and they stayed long enough to make a side trip to Mexico--some border town, nothing extravagant or complicated. And while there they acquired this feathercraft image.

Both of my parents have passed into ancestry now, and I have grown to cherish this little picture. Partly because I cannot honestly imagine either of my parents traveling outside of the United States...and with both sets of grandparents, no less! And though I was years away from entering into the family, I imagine that this was a happy adventure for them. It was the only time that Harry and Zola met George and Hazel (my grandparents); and it is reported that George's good humor enchanted my father's parents.

The little objet d'art hung on a wall in my parent's bedroom throughout my life, and while my sister (and only sibling) thought it tacky, I thought it gracious of her to let me claim it in the division of the estate.

The back of it contains a little history in 5 paragraphs entitled: "The Story Of Mexican Feathercraft". To Quite from it: "Even before the Spaniards conquered Mexico in 1521, feathercraft was already an ancient art." And in an enlightened, environmentally responsible assertion "Although feathers of wild fowl are no longer used, the selection of the various qualities, the slow process of dressing a simple paper pattern with very small feathers at the head, gradually increasing in size as the figure is completed, let you hear the haunting songs of birds in ancient forests of mysterious beauty."

The image hangs on my bedroom wall now. And though there's not much that’s "haunting" about the songs of the birds of Takoma Park, they are fond of singing! And I hear their songs every morning as I awake and prepare for work, and as I return home and often relax on my deck. The ancients could scarcely have been serenaded any better.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What I'm Listening To #26

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Bob Sinclair is a techno dance genius. And this album is nearly a perfect celebration of humanity's hope for a more perfect future.

I am compelled to dance, to sing, to cry and laugh for joy along with it. It's just that great.

Especially these cuts:
1) Love Generation
2) World, Hold On
3) Miss me
4) Sing My Song
5) In The Name Of Love
6) Shining From Heaven
7) Give A Lil' Love

Which is just about two thirds of the CD!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

April Casualty Statistics

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
What can I say.....

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Spring "Break" From My Gardens #7

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
This little gem is called "Wild Geranium". And I suppose there's a good scientific reason why, but they little resemble my woody, pungent African geraniums which are what most of us conjur up when we think of the plant.

This particular plant is the progeny of the first seedlings that I was given by the president of the Wilmore, Kentucky Flower Guild back in 1990!--and which I brought to Maryland with me in 1994. They bloom with such quite grace and spread gently thoughout my gardens. What's not to love about them?

What I'm Listening To #25

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Patty Griffin has a new album.

Overall the jury's still out on it for me....But it has so much that I love about her. The raw and intense orchestrations, her amazingly intimate and rich vocals, some interesting, tender story-telling, AND a duet with Emmy Lou Harris! It's well worth the price and wonderful to listen to, but is it her best work to date? Like I said, the jury's still out.

(And isn't she just gorgeous?)